Using egg boxes as seed propagators

When I was younger my primary school apparently used to ask parents to save their junk boxes (cereals etc) and loo rolls for “junk modelling” sessions. When I was older my mother told me she always liked dropping off whole boxes at the school as it cleared a cupboard, only to have to sigh in resignation when I arrived home from school the next day proudly brandishing a massive tower made up of all said junk glued together in a heap and badly painted and glittered. I’ve now started saving boxes and loo rolls as an adult, not for junk modelling, but for seed propagation. 

We are members of a veg box schemes and as well as supplying all of our fruit and vegetables, the local farm sends us milk, eggs, yogurt and butter every week too. So although we already have very little packaging to dispose of, we do still have egg cartons and small fruit punnets to deal with. By sowing seeds in them, they’ll rot away in soil instead of being thrown out (which, since our local council replaced our bins with thimbles, can only be a good thing).

How to propagate seeds in cardboard boxes / egg cartons / loo rolls

You will need:
Various cardboard containers
Soil / potting compost

1. Poke holes in the bottom of your containers. Stand loo rolls and kitchen rolls on a small tray

2. Fill said containers with soil

3. Rake soil until fine and sow seeds. Rake again to lightly cover seeds. Water lightly and leave where the sun will hit them for a couple of weeks before planting out.

4. Realise that you have far more seeds than saved cardboard receptacles and that it’s late on a Sunday and all garden centres are closed. Remember that a neighbour is selling their house and you noticed a whole load of ugly plastic containers left in the street by the bins. Ignore Mr Garlic’s sniff of disdain and snaffle whole load of containers and pots (asking permission first of course) and drill holes in the bottom of a bright yellow washing up bowl to make more space for seed sowing. Look forward to birth of impending BabyGarlic so that you could drink a well-deserved G&T outside in the garden for the first time that year.

Et voila, less waste to go to a landfill, and more seeds for planting out. Today was a lovely day, the kind that it’s impossible to spend inside. Could it be that the Worst Winter In Living Memory is finally coming to an end? The gorgeous 17 degree weather and bright, cloud-free sky would seem to indicate that this is so. Hello Spring, it’s been far too long.

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We farm a three acre smallholding in Hampshire, England, having fled London in pursuit of the good life for our little family. We mess about with an assorted menagerie and try to be as self-sufficient as possible in meat and fruit and vegetables whilst enjoying our plot and an outdoors lifestyle with our son. I am the luckiest person that I know.

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